The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information

2 definitions found
 for spreadsheet
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a screen-oriented interactive program enabling a user to
           lay out financial data on the screen

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

      (Or rarely "worksheet") A type of
     application program which manipulates numerical and string
     data in rows and columns of cells.  The value in a cell can be
     calculated from a formula which can involve other cells.  A
     value is recalculated automatically whenever a value on which
     it depends changes.  Different cells may be displayed with
     different formats.
     Some spreadsheet support three-dimensional matrices and cyclic
     references which lead to iterative calculation.
     An essential feature of a spreadsheet is the copy function
     (often using drag-and-drop).  A rectangular area may be
     copied to another which is a multiple of its size.  References
     between cells may be either absolute or relative in either
     their horizontal or vertical index.  All copies of an absolute
     reference will refer to the same row, column or cell whereas a
     relative reference refers to a cell with a given offset from
     the current cell.
     Many spreadsheets have a "What-if" feature.  The user gives
     desired end conditions and assigns several input cells to be
     automatically varied.  An area of the spreadsheet is assigned
     to show the result of various combinations of input values.
     Spreadsheets usually incorporate a macro language, which
     enables third-party writing of worksheet applications for
     commercial purposes.
     In the 1970s, a screen editor based calculation program
     called Visi-Calc was introduced.  It was probably the first
     commercial spreadsheet program.  Soon Lotus Development
     Corporation released the more sophisticated Lotus 1-2-3.
     Clones appeared, (for example VP-Planner from Paperback
     Software with CGA graphics, Quattro from Borland) but
     Lotus maintained its position with world-wide marketing and
     support - and lawyers!  For example, Borland was forced to
     abandon its Lotus-like pop-up menu.
     While still developing 1-2-3, Lotus introduced Symphony,
     which had simultaneously active windows for the spreadsheet,
     graphs and a word processor.
     Microsoft produced MultiPlan for the Macintosh, which
     was followed by Excel for Macintosh, long before Microsoft
     Windows was developed.
     When Microsoft Windows arrived Lotus was still producing the
     text-based 1-2-3 and Symphony.  Meanwhile, Microsoft
     launched its Excel spreadsheet with interactive graphics,
     graphic charcters, mouse support and cut-and-paste to and
     from other Windows applications.  To compete with Windows
     spreadsheets, Lotus launched its Allways add-on for 1-2-3 -
     a post-processor that produced Windows-quality graphic
     characters on screen and printer.  The release of Lotus 1-2-3
     for Windows was late, slow and buggy.
     Today, Microsoft, Lotus, Borland and many other companies offer
     Windows-based spreadsheet programs.
     The main end-users of spreadsheets are business and science.
     Spreadsheets are an example of a non-algorithmic programming

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org